OHSWEKEN – Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) is asking the community for input in developing what they hope will solve the community’s obvious waste management problem.
SNEC has hired Neegan Burnside (NB), a majority Aboriginal-owned engineering and environmental consulting firm, with hopes that an effective 20- year waste management plan will be developed and implemented.
NB has worked with Six Nations on other projects since 1998 and through their research, found that the overarching concerns with this project have been — cost, protecting the environment and overall funding.
“The landfill can’t continue to operate as it is currently operating,” said Kent Hunter at a community meeting held last week. “There needs to be some changes.”
Hunter, senior project engineer of solid waste for NB, shared with community members and some members of elected council the different options they have come up with to solve the problem.
“We need input from the community as to what people want to see,” he said. NB is looking for other options from the community, as well as feedback on the solutions they’ve presented.
NB has suggested: expanding the existing site, building another landfill at a different location, exporting the waste to a facility off the reserve or purchasing a mechanical/thermal technology (incinerator).
“In the past 10 years technologies have improved,” said Hunter. “There are vendors out there that are doing this fairly effectively.”
An incinerator is the most expensive option, remembering that SNEC has already tried to get one up and running before, but if the community wants to pursue this route again then NB said that they will move forward with this.
“Staying in status quo is not an option,” said Wray Maracle, councillor and chair of the Solid Waste Adhoc Committee. “There is really just too much stuff in the landfill.”
The consultants from NB are also looking for input on how the community could improve their current efforts in composting, recycling and managing household waste.
Hunter said that recycling efforts on Six Nations are currently up to around 10 per cent of overall waste compared to the two per cent that it was in 2006, but that the rest of Ontario averages around 25 per cent.
Members of Six Nations are asked to fill out a questionnaire where they can comment and give feedback on the waste management study.
Completing the survey gives you a chance at winning two tickets to the NBA All-Star game in February.
The survey can be found at www.sixnations. com.